Another Advent Tradition: The Church Christmas Program

This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase through these links, you may be helping to support a voracious curriculum buying habit. Be warned. And thank you for clicking through to purchase.

Okay, this tradition goes back long before I had a family of my own. I can remember the excitement of the church Christmas program from the days when I was young. One year I got to sing a solo dressed up as a giant present. I kid you not. I don’t remember the song, but I know the theme was something about what do we give Jesus as our gifts. And I especially remember the solo. I didn’t get many solo parts (for a very good reason, I might add), so it was very thrilling. I’m sure I rocked my present song (although I must admit I’m a little fuzzy about the details). But as you can see, the church Christmas program is a long standing tradition.

When I was a young wife, Jason often helped his brother- who was our church video guy- to film the program each Christmas. Our anniversary is December 10th, so we often shuffle it to accommodate the program dates. As we had children and they grew older, they became part of the program in various years. We’ve had a variety of programs- sometimes the children had a Christmas play; sometimes the children’s choir sang separately; sometimes the children’s choir sang with the adult choir; sometimes we’ve had a drama that had parts for children and adults with both choirs singing also.

This year we had something new and very different. Last night we had a walk through Bethlehem. With great details, a street in Bethlehem was laid out. There were various market stalls. There were children and adults dressed in period costumes. There were live animals. And there was a stable with a baby.

The children all participated. Ashlyne sang with the 4th and 5th graders as part of the adult choir leading participants in carols before the walk through. Rachel and Kathryne were Jewish dancers in the walk through. And Charles spent the night as a Jewish boy in a Roman jail. Jason, of course, was working in all capacities as a church employee last night. And I was the self proclaimed “Bethlehem photographer.”

This turned out to be a pretty incredible event. The whole of our large church hall took on the feel of Bethlehem. Many church members- most of them not trained performers- did an excellent job portraying their parts. And we had close to 2000 people from the community come and see Bethlehem. Almost 2000 people were able for  just a few moments in the rush and busyness of December to step back and think of what it must have been like when the Savior came to earth.

One of the most notable things for me was something that wasn’t scripted and that probably many people didn’t hear. I was mingling around the stable looking for my mom and dad who had disappeared in the crowd. Baby Jesus- actually a baby girl a couple of months old- was fussing in her Daddy’s arms. Her mother- conveniently playing Mary- was apologizing for the fussing to those watching. “Baby Jesus is just a little cold and tired right now.” As I thought about it later, I thought how very appropriate. The whole point of the Christmas celebration is to acknowledge that our Holy God became a man. He chose to take on the human body of a baby to grow into a boy and then into a man so that ultimately He might die for us. I’m very sure that the Baby Jesus was cold and was tired and hungry. Jesus did hurt. He did suffer. He was fully God and fully man.

That’s a pretty incredible thought. And it’s the reason for all of our church Christmas celebrations year after year.

Post a Comment

As We Walk Along the Road © . Design by Berenica Designs.